With Libyan rebels in control of most of Tripoli and closing in on Moammar Gadhafi's hometown, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is calling for a high-level meeting on Libya's post-Gaddafi future and promising support, but no military backup, for opposition forces in Syria. Will the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad be the next victim of the Arab Spring?
Yes. The West will focus on Assad now: The Western PR machine has already rendered the judgment that Assad's government has lost all legitimacy, says Patrick Henningsen at Global Research. That's the first step in building the resolve to support sanctions, a no-fly zone, bombing — whatever it takes to bring regime change to "the Middle East’s last remaining strong independent state," and cement the alliance's control over the region.
"After Libya, Syria is next in line for a NATO sponsored 'regime change'"
But Syria is a tougher challenge than Libya: "Syria is no Libya, and Assad is no Gadhafi," says Uriel Heilman at JTA. The U.S. and other leading Western nations have plenty of stern words for Assad, but they've "given no real consideration to backing up their talk with air strikes." The U.S. isn't eager to see the chaos that would follow Assad's ouster, particularly since Syria shares a border with Israel. Assad's people might eventually push him out, but they shouldn't count on much help from the West.
"After Gadhafi's fall in Libya, is Syria's Assad next?"
If anything, Yemen may be the next domino to fall: Everyone assumes Assad will be the next to go, says Tom Finn at Foreign Policy, but Yemen's equally beleaguered president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, might be the one who's really in trouble. The Egyptian revolt that toppled Hosni Mubarak "first set Yemen's protest movement ablaze," but six months of violence and infighting resulted in a "grinding stalemate." Now, just in time, Libya's rebels may have rekindled the fire Yemen's uprising needs to succeed.
"Gadhafi's fall rivets Yemen"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 11 worst fast food restaurants in America
- 7 things the world's happiest people do every day
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why are so many parents being arrested?
- 9 things you probably didn't know about the moon
- Israel has only two choices: Eliminate the Palestinians or make peace
- The biggest lesson Obama failed to learn from Bush
- What I learned from totally unplugging and shutting up for three days
- Why America is duty bound to help Iraqi Christians
- The rise of the global middle class is our best hope to stop climate change
Subscribe to the Week